Chinese Perspectives on Free Will

In Kevin Timpe, Meghan Griffith & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge. pp. 374-388 (2017)

Christian Wenzel
National Taiwan University
The problem of free will as it is know in Western philosophical traditions is hardly known in China. Considering how central the problem is in the West, this is a remarkable fact. We try to explain this, and we offer insights into discussions within Chinese traditions that we think are related, not historically but regarding the issues discussed. Thus we introduce four central Chinese concepts, namely: (1) xīn 心 (heart, heart-mind), (2) xìng 性 (human nature, characteristic tendencies, inborn capacity), (3) mìng 命 (lifespan, fate, command, allotment, endowment), and (4) zìrán 自然 (self-so, so of itself, nature, spontaneity), and we indicate how these concepts and their discussions can be related to discussions on free will.
Keywords free will  China  fate  psychology  nature
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